Gymnasium Lighting- Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Many Gymnasium Lights Do I Need?
The best way to determine how many gym lights you need is to get a gymnasium lighting plan.
A gymnasium lighting plan uses specialized lighting software to model your gym area and space. It takes into account the dimensions of the room / rooms, fixture location (or new locations), and your required foot candle target.
The software creates your lighting plan, showing you fixture location in your space, foot candle readings on the floor, and a calculation of how well the light is distributed.
We can create your custom gymnasium lighting plan for Free. We do this as a free service for our commercial and industrial customers. This takes the risk out of your LED purchase.
2. What are Gymnasium lights?
Gymnasium Lights are typically high bay lights. They are mounted on the ceiling and light up the gym floor below. Traditional lighting for gym usually were metal halide or fluorescent lighting in linear panels.
Today, a better choice is LED High Bays. Their design are perfect for gymnasiums and have many benefits over their traditional light source.
3. What are the best LED Gymnasium lights?
The Best LED Gymnasium Lights may be different for each building. What works well in one gym may not be a good choice in another. The "Best LED Gym Light" is the fixture that provides great lighting and provides uniform, well distributed light.
A way to determine what is the best gymnasium light is to develop a gymnasium lighting plan. LED Lighting Supply provides free Gymnasium Lighting Plans for our Commercial and Industrial customers. The lighting plan will give you options for you to determine what is the best gym light for your area.
4. What are the best LED Gym lights to replace Metal Halide?
We strongly recommend our UFO Style LED High Bays to replace Metal Halide. These high bays are round, compact and extremely robust with a high impact rating. We have LED UFO Models that can replace 400 Watt Metal Halide, 1000 Watt Metal Halide and 1500 Watt Metal Halide Gymnasium Lights
5. What are the benefits of LED Gymnasium lights?
There are many benefits of LED Gym lights over traditional light sources.
Instant on - instant off. No longer do you have to wait 20-30 minutes for your metal halide lights to cycle up. Also, if they do go off, you can turn then on instantly.
No more bulbs to replace. LED Lights dramatically reduce maintenance costs providing bright, high quality lights for years and years
Works well with motion sensors. Why not dim your gym lights when no one is using it? Dimming saves money too!
Robust design - LED UFO High Bays are IK High Impact rated. So if they get hit by a ball or other object, they will keep on working.
School Gym Conversion
Gym School using Fluorescent Fixtures
Gym School after converting to LED Lighting Supply 120 Watt UFO LED High Bays
6. What are the main types of Gymnasium Lighting?
Gymnasium LED High Bays
More often than not, gyms have very high ceilings. And, gyms whose ceilings are very high need illumination from very high points.
Generally speaking, the height of the ceiling in a gymnasium may be between 20 to 40 feet from the floor. And if that’s the case, LED high bay fixtures are used in these gyms.
Gymnasium LED Low Bays
Gymnasiums with low ceilings around 12 to 20 feet above the floor make use of low bay LED fixtures.
These fixtures have a high lumen output and provide uniform light in gyms, and in some cases, lens angles are employed to distribute further the light generated by these LED low bays.
Gymnasium LED Flood Lights
LED area floodlights are suitable outdoors, and thus, they can be used in the open spaces outside the gym to offer illumination at night.
They provide an extremely bright light with a wide beam angle, that makes them perfect for large outdoor areas and building exteriors.
7. What Color Temperature do you need for your gym?
The best range of color temperature for a gym or fitness facility is between the range of 4000K to 5500K. A color temperature around 5000K, which is closest to daylight, has the same energizing effects as natural light. If you have been using metal halide, High Pressure Sodium, or fluorescent lights, it’s time to replace them with LED gym lights.
LED Color Choices
To replace Metal Halide, select 5000K.
If you would like a slightly warmer light, choose 4000K.
High Pressure Sodium are 2300K. Moving to 4000K or 5000K will greatly improve the quality of indoor light.
8. Have you thought about CRI?
Color rendering index, or CRI, describes the quality of the light. It tells us how well a light source will reveal the colors of items compared to sunlight (the ideal light source).
When it comes to HID lamps, another common gym lighting fixture, people usually complain about one thing: poor light color.
Light quality is important in high bay gym applications. It has a huge impact on clarity and contrast and can affect people’s perception.
In spaces where hand-eye coordination is often in play, you’ll want lighting with good CRI. LED Gym fixtures are offered in CRIs ranging from CRI 70 and 90.
9. Getting Balanced, Light Distribution Perfect
How to you achieve well balanced lighting in your gym lighting conversion project? They way to start is to get a lighting plan done.
A balanced lighting solution is one where the light stays within a few foot candles across the entire space.
Light is considered out of balance when there are areas that are bright and dark. Lighting is very spotty. Spotty lighting is distracting to both athlete and spectator.
Gyms come in different shapes and sizes. What works in one gym may not work in another. Heights may be different. Locations and spacings of lights can be different.
Its these differences that makes lighting plans and gym lighting design important. A plan can pick the right light for a specific set of gym conditions.
10. Do you need Lighting Controls?
Motion Sensors and other controls can dramatically reduce lighting costs by turning off or dimming the lights when people leave the area.
PIR and microwave motion sensors can be added to turn the lights on when motion is detected and off / dimmed when no activity is detected.
To dim, the gym fixtures need a 0-10V dimmable driver. Unlike traditional lighting, dimming LED fixtures is relatively simple and does not affect the life of the bay fixture.
And if you’re trying to save additional money, nothing saves more money than off or 10% lit.
11. Do you need Rugged Gym Fixtures?
An IK rating is an international code that measures the level of protection a light fixture has against mechanical wear and tear and the impact it can take.
In other words, it is a measure of a light fixture’s durability and robustness.
When using lighting fixtures in a high traffic area (like a gym), you’ll find that they undergo quite a bit of wear and tear.
Therefore, it is important to get fixtures with the proper IK rating. This is because if the light fixtures get damaged, efficiency may decrease.
Light fixtures that are resistant to impact. Analyzing the risk of impact is the first thing you should do before you decide if you need light fixtures with a high IK rating.
12. Do you need High Voltage Gym Lighting - 277V to 480V?
School gymnasiums are vast, open buildings and they have to be so to accommodate the activities performed in them.
And, sometimes these large spaces run on higher voltages - something that is common in large warehouse spaces or factories
If you are trying to replace fixtures of higher voltages, anywhere from 277V to 480V, you should make sure you look for a solution that has a high power LED driver.
Constant current drivers are equipped to handle everything from 100 Volts up to to 480 Volts (standard voltage drivers handle any voltage in the range of 100V-277V).
High power led drivers can range from 200V- 480V, 347V-480V or 277V-480V. Make sire you read the specs to make sure the fixture can handle the appropriate voltage your facility serves up.
13. How High of an Efficacy do you need?
Luminous efficacy is the most accurate measure of a bulb’s efficiency. It tells you the lumens produced for every watt of electricity consumed.
Even the most standard LEDs are significantly more efficient than traditional bulbs, with higher luminous efficacy. But the especially high-quality LEDs have astounding efficacy ratings of upwards of 130 lumens per watt.
Paying attention to efficacy is especially important for gym lighting because the lights are on for a majority of the time, and could become extremely costly if they don’t run efficiently.
What is the trade off between initial cost and long term energy savings? A higher efficiency (efficacy) LED light costs more than lower efficacy light.
The energy savings over the life of LED fixture is more than the initial investment needed to upgrade. So if you’re looking to maximize savings when converting to LED, choose a higher efficiency product.
Note - we have often found that you can choose a lower wattage LED fixture with a high efficacy.
A 100 Watt LED at 130 lumens/watt produces 13,000 lumens. A 72 watt LED fixture at 180 lumens/watt makes the same 13,000 lumens.
14. How To Control Glare
When it comes to LED lighting, there’s one thing that people sometimes complain about, glare. LED lights don’t generate lumens as conventional lights do.
The intensity of the shine emitted from each chip can make glare a serious issue.
The Unified Glare Rating (UGR), rates glare for lighting products. To make sure that the lights you get do not cause glare, look for lights with a UGR of 19 or less.
Remember this: gymnasiums can have a lot of shiny surfaces, like highly polished floors. Shiny surfaces will reflect light. This will increase "glare" within the gym.
We have found that adding a frosted lens to our UFO High Bays has been popular for applications that need glare reduction, like gyms.
LED Gym Lighting Considerations
As you can see from above, upgrading to LEDs has a significant impact on your facility's lighting.
But, in order to make sure that LEDs are in a position to function at their peak, you need to have proper light distribution.
Proper light distirbution is unique to each building. So, now it’s time to think specifically about your facility. Each and every setting presents different challenges.
One gym may have extremely high ceilings, while another has concrete ceilings that need to be dealt with.
It’s easy to see why LEDs are the premier choice for gymnasium lighting. When you consider all the factors, long operating hours, difficult maintenance settings, and frequent wear and tear, there really is no type of lighting that’s better suited for gymnasium lighting than LEDs.
Their low operating costs and virtually non-existent maintenance needs make them a favorite across the board, but their durability and powerful, high-quality glow are what makes them really perfect for these settings.
If your gymnasium isn’t using LEDs, it’s time to make the switch.